The Similars

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 03 Jan 2019

Member Reviews

The first half of this story kept you guessing.  
Unfortunately the second half lost the plot with too many clichés of previous YA stories.
Overall this was disappointing as it could have been so much better.
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I had very high hopes for this book but unfortunately that hope was short lived. Hanover deliered an interesting premise that had the potential to be so much more but the end result was flat. I found it difficult to relate to the characters and in turn grow to like them. It felt like every other teen novel with a main character being bullied for being different and a romance that was forced. Overall, disappointing.
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I wasn't expecting to get hooked by this book, but here I am. The concept was interesting to start, but it wove the whole story into an interesting mystery and I wound up not being able to put the book down. There was something about the atmosphere in Darkwood that kept making me think the story was going to turn fantasy/supernatural in multiple spots, and I'm glad it didn't go in that direction. The controversy and treatment of the clones throughout the book will probably hit a little close to home for people these days. It looks like this may be a new series, and in that case I can't wait for the next one.
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The Similars was a wild ride -- clones, super powers, private school, friendship, romance, betrayal -- I can't wait to read the sequel! I am pretty sure I read this straight through in one day -- that's how compelling it was! Thank you to the publisher for the opportunity to read this title.
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{My thoughts} – I’m not even sure where to begin. This book was absolutely, incredibly well written and it is going to leave you unsatisfied and with a bunch of questions. When I’d first started reading this book, I’d assumed it was a single story. I didn’t know until I was halfway through and looked it up on goodreads that there was going to be another book coming out and it was to be a part of a series. I have to admit that after I’d reached the ending of this book, it was much easier to accept how the author had left things, knowing that another would be coming out to help carry on the storyline.

I started this book yesterday afternoon and I’d finished it earlier today. However, I am first now getting around to writing the review. I try not to read any other books until I complete a review once I’ve finished a book. Mainly so I don’t accidentally mess up storylines. I don’t think I could, even if I wanted to mess up this storyline. This is one of those books that are sure to stick with you like Divergent, The Hunger Games, Infinity Lost, and so many others that fall into this wonderful category of young adult books.

I have always enjoyed books similar to this one and I always enjoy a good book that involves a lot of High School Drama. It kind of has a feel of Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard Meets Pawn by Aimee Carter in a sense. I was legit hooked on this book from start to finish and couldn’t stop reading.

Emma is an interesting character. She has her faults and she has her issues. You learn pieces of her back history throughout the book. She has this really great best friend named Oliver, only you don’t actually get to meet him, because he’d killed himself three months before the book started. Then she has her only other best friend Prudence that ends up getting hurt while at school and that leaves Emma feeling all alone without a lifeboat at school.

She attends a boarding school in Vermont and this year her school is taking part in something new. They are inviting Clones to come to school with the other students. The Clones become known as The Similars and there are six of them. Six look alikes of other students currently attending the same school as Emma. So much takes place throughout their arrival, so much happens. There were so many different twists, so many different turns.

If you haven’t had a chance to read this book and you enjoy books in this category, I highly recommend you pick this book up and read it. You won’t regret it and will be hooked from the beginning. It’s an incredible book and I can’t wait until the second one comes out so that I can devour it as well.
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I really liked the idea of this book, six clones, boarding school but about 10% in I knew it wasn't going to work for me. The biggest problem for me was the main character Emma. Her responses to situations seemed wrong or without reason. There was a lot going on but none of it seemed to fit together, instead just random plot points

While The Similars was not for me I would try another book by Rebecca Hanover
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Reading this book was weird for me, mostly because I haven’t read a book like this in a long while. I’ve been enveloped in a sea of fantasy and contemporary reads lately and YA dystopia was the farthest thing from my mind. But, here we are. While reading it I was reminded of all the things I liked about the genre, but also all the things I hated.

This book was a fairly enjoyable read. The premise was really interesting and the writing was quite good. The characters were also pretty decent and the story was overall entertaining. The issue I had was that it was a little too ‘Young Adult’. 

If I had read this book at 16, I might have loved it. But, I’m a ripe old lady of 22, and I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at some points. Things were a little too convenient at times, a little too predictable. It felt at times as if things were happening just to keep the plot going forward. I also couldn’t quite relate to the charcters. They felt like archetypes with no deep or unique personalities.

There is also some romance going on between Emma and Levi and I just wasn’t feeling it. Like most generic YA, the romance seemed to come out of nowhere. It felt rushed and as though it only really occurred because Levi was Oliver’s similar and because the book needed some romantic tension.

Despite all that negativity, I gotta say, the story was pretty interesting. I wanted to know more of what was happening. I would recommend this book to younger YA readers, or people that unlike me, weren’t avid readers in the early 2010s when every book was a YA sci-fi/ dystopia.
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3.5 stars

This went back and forth for me, but it was what got me out of another slump.  I was interested in the premise, and there were enough little twists and turns and additions to the basic premise that it helped smooth over some of the bits that I found less interesting.  

I am a little more than uncertain of what my expectations are for  the sequel, but I do know that I will be keeping an eye out for it.
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This was a good book, it is going to go over very well in the YA community. While I enjoyed it, I think it was a bit too young for me. The kids were just harder for me to relate too, as they were written very true to age. Which I appreciate.  It was a fun story, and I really liked how unique the plot was. I also thought the plot twist was clever, and well executed. Cloning has been a very interesting topic for years, as far as the rights and wrongs of it. So it was fun to read it from this aspect.
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** Thank you to Netgalley for the e-arc Granted to me for an honest review***


** I also won a physical arc through goodreads***



So at first I thought I really wasn’t going to like this..  In the very first pages Emma is contemplating suicide and that’s a tough subject for me.   She also just acts very childish in the beginning through her grief.   (I lost my best friend to suicide just like she did so I guess it effected me more when she told another person to basically die all because he was her best friends clone.  If you’re grieving a love one from suicide you don’t tell another person to commit it). Over the course of the book though Emma grew a lot.  I actually really enjoyed this.   I couldn’t put this down at all.   

I didn’t really understand the Ten I felt like that could have been left out really it was made to be a big deal but just never understood why and fell off honestly.  

Through the clones this book tackles race issues in the country and I really really enjoyed that!!   I also like the light mystery involved and all the twists and turns!!
THAT ENDING THOUGH WAS THE BEST PART!!
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I thought the premise of this book was really interesting and I enjoyed the story most of the way through.  Darkwood Academy is a place for the best and the brightest and also has a reputation as forward thinking.  When it is revealed that six students were illegally cloned, the school decides to take the progressive step of allowing the clones to attend Darkwood right alongside their original counterparts.  The book has a lot going on: politics as the existence of the clones and their status is debated and divides the student body, a love story and the typical high school haves and have nots scenario.  The Similars shines in the first half as we explore all this through the eyes of Emmaline Chance-a girl who is forced into an unenviable situation.  I liked Emmaline and the mystery surrounding the clones.  Towards the end though I found it a bit hard to deal with the over the top nature of the villain and also I managed to figure out the big twist at the end well before it happened.  Still, I think this is a solid start to what looks to be part of a series or trilogy?  I'll definitely be reading the next installment because I want to see what happens to these characters.
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I found The Similars surprising in a number of ways. When it opens, Emma is so lost in her grief; you, as the reader, are immediately plunged into small, closed-off world. As the book progresses and Emma’s world expands, so, too, does your view. It’s an interesting experience that wouldn’t work if Rebecca Hanover’s writing weren’t as strong as it is. Too much more of Emma’s early apathetic tendencies would be off-putting, but Hanover has found the right balance.

The idea of putting two genetically identical people who were nurtured in different ways together is compelling. It raises the question of nature vs. nurture. Of course, identical twins share the same genetic code, but in almost all cases, they are raised together and have similar traits — my own sisters-in-law even created their own language. I love books that make me think beyond the story, and this aspect of The Similars did just that.

Of course, there’s more to The Similars than just the Similars. The mystery of how they came to be and how more than one person is subtly — or not so subtly — pulling the strings in the background makes for an intense storyline that ends primed for a sequel.
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I was super pumped heading into this novel, wind fully in my sails, excited for my first YA novel of 2019. A sci-fi thriller about cloning, identity and elite private school drama? My name might as well have been written in high lighter across the cover with neon arrows pointing me towards the first page. 

The first chapter really did hook me. I appreciated the surliness of Emmaline, our heroine with a chip on her shoulder. Her best friend Oliver recently committed suicide, which is hard enough to handle on its own without the added pressure of the newest Darkwood Boarding School arrivals. The clones, or Similars, are exact replicas of six of Darkwood’s most erudite and popular students. One of them is an exact replica of Oliver, Emmaline’s dead best friend. 

Super-science and cloning novels are usually rife with moral dilemmas and ethical quandaries. The main reason to write about cloning and AI is to have a discussion about what humanity actually is, the continuing evolution of our definition of life. Anything that might have been related to depth was tampered down with twisty plot, annoyingly obvious side stepping and the characters’ sophomoric antics. The only part that resembled a thoughtful nuance was when the students argue in class about clones rights. Clones are people too, etc. 

So after a bunch of really benign twists and turns that take up half the book, we come to the actual meat of the novel. A mad scientist on an island clones superhumans from the memory of former students he went to school with at Darkwood. It’s like a diluted and dumbed down version of The Isle of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells. The end. 

Questions for anyone who makes it through the novel without skimming the last few chapters like I had to: 

What is the point of the Ten? The Ten is an honor society composed of the top ten in Darkwood’s academic stratum. They meet at midnight (why?) to pull pranks on each other and discuss their right to bully other students. There’s also a long storied history of the Ten which includes (gasp) all of the current Ten’s parents! Wow this conspiracy goes way back. 

Why introduce futuristic technology if only to replicate things we already have--like classic DNA testing? 

Why have a truth-telling serum just so Emma can never use it to solve major plot points?

I gave this two stars. One because I finished it (hooray!) and the second because of the one scene of interesting dialogue about human/clone rights. If you’re still dying to read this before it becomes a summer blockbuster, borrow it from your local library. 

Thanks to NetGalley for the pre-publication copy in exchange for an honest review.
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The concept of this book is what really made me want to read it. Going to the same school as your CLONE? WHOA. And the book did not disappoint. I am excited that I got the chance to read it before it got put on the shelves, and now it is featured at Barnes and Nobles and other bookstores. Rebecca's debut novel is highly appealing to fans of YA and sci-fi, and I really like the mystery behind all of the drama. I hope she writes another book soon!
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The Similars by Rebecca Hanover is a thrilling sci-fi book set in a futuristic Earth, not too far in the future, though. The book focuses on life at a prestigious private school that had decided to allow a few clones to join their ranks. These clones happen to be the clones of students who attend this school so that should make for a very interesting story.

Our main character is Emma Chance. She is in the process of grieving her best friends death when school starts back up. She knows the clones, The Similars, will be coming to Darkwood Academy this year but she has no idea the bomb, in the form of her dead best friends clone, is going to be dropped on her. Ollie has a clone?! She instantly hates him for even existing.

The clones in this book are copies of kids who go to the prestigious Darkwood Academy and no one knows exactly why or how it happened that way. This ends up playing a big role in the plot and, if you are like me, you won't see it coming.

I truly was not expecting the ending that we got. I knew something big was going to go down but I didn't even remotely guess at what was really about to happen. I was shocked but excited at the same time because that meant there had to be another book to explain WTH just happened.

There was a sense of deja vu for me while I was reading the book. I just kept feeling like I have read this or seen this movie before. I have no idea what caused that but I know in my heart that if I really had read a book or seen a movie like this I would definitely remember. It could have been that there were A TON of elements to this story, from the private school to the advanced technology, that appears in a bunch of other books but after much thinking I still have nothing to compare this book too.

In the end, I am so glad I was given the chance to read this book early but it's bittersweet because now I have to wait even longer TO GET MY HANDS ON THE NEXT BOOK! I wonder if the next book will be called The Originals -tehehe-

Overall, I gave the book 4/5 stars.
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This book had me hooked from the synopsis!!
However, it fell a little flat to me as I just found the characters unlikable.

Thank you to NetGalley for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I'm not really a fan of the "sinister secret society at a boarding school" trope so this one started on kind of rocking footing. And I can't say as it got much better. The clone element was okay. Clearly the status of the Similars is meant to parallel the debate over immigration. Much of the plot is either entirely predictable or unbelievable. There isn't enough evidence for the plot twists. They are random events to make the plot more exciting. Vaguely exciting but not well supported.
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I thought Rebecca Hanover's The Similars raised an interesting question -- what makes you YOU? When multiple people are clones of one another with the same DNA, Students attend school with the people they were cloned off of. This is a timely and relevant issue. I believe this book would spark some interesting discussion; it would be worth including in a mixed novel unit with Brave New World, 1984, Handmaid's Tale, etc. The book was also slightly reminiscent of Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go. That said, I did find The Similars much more engaging.
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Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book! I guessed the twist at the end, but I still enjoyed reading it! I cannot wait until the sequels come out!
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Ms. Hanover's debut novel about clones is, simply put, fantastic. The Similars is everything I love about reading. The story is engaging; I could not stop reading it everything I predicted ending up not coming true. The characters may be archetypes, but I still felt a full range of emotions over Emma's struggles. I loved the friction caused by the clones, and I appreciate that the students did not wholeheartedly accept them. It is an element of the story that feels accurate, especially given the ethics surrounding cloning that scientists continue to debate. Nothing about the story felt contrived or as if it was checking the boxes. The Similars is fresh and exciting with an ending that will blow your mind. I can't wait for the sequel!
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